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  • Similar situation here in Australia. Even those who were reasonably proficient in standard Italian when they emigrated speak a 1950's 'stopped clock' argot.

    March 4, 2009

  • A few years ago I took an Italian course and was picking it up fairly easily, because it is so close to Spanish. I decided to head over to a park in Brooklyn where there is a bocce court and see if I could join the old Italian men in a game. My hope was to practice Italian and maybe even pick up some juicy, non-textbook words in the process. It didn't pan out too well. The men themselves were extremely nice, but the Sicilian and Calabrian dialects they spoke were so far removed from what is considered to be "Standard Italian" as to be unhelpful for my purposes. They told me to take heart as they often had to substitute English words even among one another because, as they put it, Sicilian Italian changes from village to village -- sometimes drastically. Still, it's a nice memory. Some of those guys were amazingly accurate players for septuagenarians.

    March 4, 2009

  • Let's play :-)

    March 4, 2009

  • It's a game of bocce we bought years ago at some flea market. Funny, eh?

    March 4, 2009

  • What is?

    March 4, 2009